Phillies, Arrieta reportedly 'having dialogue'

February 20th, 2018

CLEARWATER, Fla. -- considers himself one of the elite pitchers in baseball, and he still hopes to be paid like one.
It is why the Phillies have not signed Arrieta, who they would love to have in their rotation. MLB Network's Jon Heyman reported Tuesday morning the Phillies and Arrieta's agent, Scott Boras, are "having dialogue" about a deal. Sources have told that the Phillies would consider a three-year contract for Arrieta, but little has changed despite discussions throughout the offseason.
A deal seems unlikely at the moment.
• Phillies' Spring Training information
Arrieta, who turns 32 on March 6, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA in 30 starts last season for the Cubs. His fastball velocity dropped from 94.3 mph in 2016 to 92.7 mph in 2017, which could be cause for concern. Perhaps it is why the Cubs never made a contract offer to Arrieta, despite him pitching for them the previous five seasons. Instead, they recently signed to a six-year, $126 million deal.
Heyman reported at the time that the Cubs called Arrieta to see if he would consider a similar deal, if Darvish declined. Heyman reported that Arrieta "wasn't immediately prepared to accept a six-year deal for what was believed to be for a similar annual salary." 
If that is the case, then the Phillies and Arrieta are a long way apart.
Of course, things change. If Arrieta is simply looking to surpass the average annual value of Darvish's deal ($21 million), perhaps the Phillies could overpay on a three-year contract. Maybe even a four-year contract. Even then, the Phillies will lose another top Draft pick. They already surrendered their second-round pick in the 2018 Draft, plus $500,000 in international signing bonus money, for signing first baseman in December.
But Phillies general manager Matt Klentak said last week the Phillies would remain disciplined and not throw their plans in the trash to make an impulse buy.
Signing Arrieta to a five-, six- or seven-year deal would be a serious impulse buy.
"We've gone through this rebuild, we've acknowledged that it was going to be painful for a few years," Klentak said. "It has been. We're not going to do anything to compromise the future of that. We're going to continue to do this right. We're competitive as anybody else is, but we're not going to radically change our valuation on a potential acquisition based on emotion. That's not something we're going to do."